BOLTON’S three MPs have thrown their weight behind The Bolton News’ Best of Health for Bolton campaign.
The campaign wants to see the Royal Bolton chosen to become one of up to five “super hospitals” in Greater Manchester It is part of the Healthier Together proposals, which is the biggest shake-up of NHS services in decades.
Under the bid bosses at the Royal Bolton say they will invest in the accident and emergency department, as well as maternity, children and obstetrics.
Now Bolton’s three MPs have urged people to get behind Bolton’s bid and support the hospital when the consultation is launched.
David Crausby, MP for Bolton north east, said: “I’m really very supportive that Bolton should become a centre of excellence, not just from Bolton’s point of view but also because as a facility we have a great deal to offer in Greater Manchester.
“It would be a great shame to downgrade us to a less important hospital.
“Despite the government saying there would be no top down restructure of the NHS, there’s been a fair amount, and we do have to accept that people expect specialism in their hospital, so I’m broadly in favour of the changes so long as Bolton keeps its important part in healthcare provision.”
Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, welcomed the campaign and said health bosses need to make sure people have access to the right treatment as close to home as possible.
Wigan Infirmary is also on the shortlist of potential ‘super hospitals’, along with Stepping Hill in Stockport and Wythenshawe.
She added: “I think it’s vital the Royal Bolton Hospital retains all of its services, as it and Wigan are hospitals that are not close to other hospitals.
“We need people to have the right services in the right place.
“If there are proposals that are about improving medical outcomes, then I’m happy to consider those, but not if these proposals are just about saving money.”
Bolton south east MP Yasmin Qureshi said there was a need for Bolton residents to get the best possible care on their doorstep.
She added: “We want the best for our people, and the Royal Bolton is one of the busiest hospitals in the north west and Greater Manchester.
“It’s very important for it to be a ‘super hospital’ because it means illnesses can be treated there and then, where appropriate.”